In the first seven months of 2017, a total of 1.2 billion EUR worth of FDIs were made in Serbia, which is more than all the Western Balkan countries put together – said the State Secretary in the Serbian Ministry of Economy, Milun Trivunac at the 17th Serbian Economic Summit.
The summit started with a meeting on the topic of “Boosting Competitiveness of the Serbian Economy”, which was opened by Trivunac and Chad Evans, the President of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils. The summit itself was officially opened by the Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.
Trivunac said that the Ministry of Economy did write an analysis of the effects that the state’s incentives for foreign investors in processing industry had on the country’s export and the GDP in the period from 2006 and 2015.
“On average, the state paid 2,680 EUR in incentives for each new job that was created, while the number of newly employed workers went up by 20%. Also, net export doubled, while the contribution of the foreign investors to economic growth has increased fivefold”, he said adding that the companies that used the state incentives had increased their share in the national GDP from 0.23% in 2007 to 1.08% in 2015.
In the following period, the Ministry will focus on boosting competitiveness by applying the following six key measures – attracting FDIs in order to increase economic growth, increasing export, facilitating a faster growth of start-up companies and bigger contribution of fast-growing SMEs, regional specialization of processing industry, resolving the problems of companies that are losing a lot of money, and creating a new industrial policy.
Trivunac also mentioned that the Ministry of Economy, in collaboration with the World Bank, has been working on creating a new industrial policy until the year 2030 that would define measures and tools focused on technologically catching up to the EU, development of innovation, implementation of the 4.0 industry concept, and smart specialization of the Serbian processing industry as the driving force behind the country’s economic development.
Director of the EBRD’s office in Serbia, Daniel Berg urged the government not to spend more money on public enterprises, but on smarter economic choices. He also mentioned that the EBRD has been in constant touch with the Serbian government, and was engaged in devising a five-year-strategy for Serbia.
The President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Marko Cadez underlined a great need for the qualified workforce to stay in the country since brain and workforce rain were major challenges in Serbia trying to improve its competitiveness.
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